A mental health organization underscored the importance of empowering volunteerism among the youth following the May elections.
Mental Health PH, a mental health awareness group, released a research article titled “Empowering the Youth: After-Election Hopes and Aspirations” on May 10, a day after the polls.
The article was written by Marie Nicole Ingrid Lusterio, Allana Marie Manguerra, Aiah Osano.
In the article, the authors stated how the youth can fight back against oppression and shape social change based on their active participation during the campaign season and the 2022 national elections.
“Today’s youth understand that civic engagement is a crucial part of being human; their ability and capacity to uproar and demand from the top to fight back against oppression, imperialism, and injustice done by the system and its drivers are characteristic of their generation,” the authors said.
“Their activism and fulfillment actualize this social, political, and cultural consciousness of societal obligations, one of which is voting; it has been observed in the past months that the youth is loud and proud in participating and campaigning for life-changing leaders in the 2022 National Elections,” they added.
In line with this, Mental Health PH held an online session about the topic of empowering the youth on the same day.
A recording of it was released by some Twitter users who participated in this online talk.
— gemma gumamela | #MentalHealthPH (@gmrtnx) May 10, 2022
The power of the youth through volunteerism
In the blog article, the authors observed how young people use the act of volunteerism to campaign, engage with the socio-political issues and be purveyors of truth.
Citing different reports, they pointed out the youth, particularly members of the generation Z, are equipped with social media and the internet to combat the growing spread of false information online.
“Due to the threat of disinformation and misinformation, young people are more equipped to be critical thinkers as they fight for the truth and facts. Their role in proliferating veracity indicates honesty, responsibility, and courage as Filipinos,” the authors wrote.
Given that half of the registered voters are between ages 18 and 30 years old, they noted that their votes therefore hold “considerable weight” in the election results.
“The 2022 elections has shown the youth’s intense passion towards volunteering and campaigning for their desired candidates, while speaking up against disinformation that is being spread in social media (Wee, 2022),” they said.
Their aspirations and expectations from elected officials during the national polls in 2016 are also similar with that of the young voters for this elections.
In summary, below are the common expectations and aspirations of young voters to their elected officials:
- Matters of good governance in our country
- Sustainability and inclusion
- Healthcare (COVID-19 recovery)
- Social services and whether these issues will be given importance by the elected individuals
In conclusion, the authors stated that these young voters have a huge role to play in “creating awareness, voicing out concerns and being courageous for fellow youths.”